Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Friday, September 23, 2022


He and me.

Daddy was not a businessman.
Rancher. Hereford Organization (Federal and Provincial) president, past president and secretary. Church leader. Good neighbour. Veterinarian.
Husband. Father. Son. Brother. Uncle. Cousin. Friend.
He was all of those things.
But he wasn’t a businessman.
Maybe I should explain...
Daddy was raised by parents who exemplified the word ‘service’.
And he did the same. Selflessly giving of his time and expertise when asked—and even some times when not.
And he was always ready to help a neighbour—be it relative or friend.
As the only veterinarian for 100 miles, Daddy was much in demand—especially in times of emergency. Whenever there was an epidemic of something among the animals of the area, he was on hand to provide vaccinations. (During several rabies scares, he vaccinated some very, very feral barn cats—and had the scars to prove it!) If someone’s cow was calving, or a horse or bull had run afoul of some barbed wire and needed emergency stitchery, again, he was there.
These animals were the livelihood of these ranchers. Daddy understood and did everything in his considerable power to help out.
And that’s also where he ran into trouble.
Because he knew, first hand, the slim margins for profit these fellow ranchers worked under, and that the loss of even one animal could spell ruin. Also because the cost of medical aid was something they could ill afford, he tried to help there as well.
By not charging full price for his vet services—and sometimes no price at all.
The neighbours loved him.
And many credited him with keeping them afloat.
But, yes. Daddy wasn’t a businessman.
He was a good man.
And I’m forever grateful!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

A Knowing Nose

It’s Elephant Appreciation day!

So what could be better than...Mildred!

Mildred, my friend, has a nose that is great.
Not bulging. Or curving. Or big as a plate!
Not crooked. Or flattened. Or shaped like a bean.
The most beautiful nose that you ever have seen.

Can't say it's large. A potato, A gourd.
A crooked ol' carrot. An acorn. A board.
And it’s not like a flower, a rose or a lili,
Yes, nothing to ever make Mildred look silly.

It is shapely and small. In reality – fair.
The grandest appendage to ever draw air.
Fine-boned and slender. With rose petal skin.
The kind that can always draw everyone in.

But with all of its beauty, her friends still make fun.
They laugh and they tease. They catcall and run.
But why with such beauty for them to sightsee,
Would they tease their friend harshly to such a degree?

Because Mildred, oh, she of the wonderful nose.
The beauty, perfection. The colour called 'rose'.
Well there's something about her that I've not disclosed.
Something, about which you need to be told.

Though our Mildred is all she could possibly be,
A good friend and clever. And kind as can be.
Yes, Mildred has one little secret to hold.
Our Mildred's an elephant, truth to be told.
Now there’s something that you need to learn ‘fore you’re older,
That you find the beauty, when you’re the beholder.
And when seeing someone who is different than you,
Remember sweet Mildred and all she’s gone through.

P.S. If you think that Mildred's true story's a gaffe, 
You should hear about Harold, the short-necked giraffe.
Painted by the uber-talented Jessica Tolley!

Who blogs at 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Stress Relief

Dad's class.
See the young man standing by the window?
Well, dad is the fourth head down the table from him. Bow tie. Studious.
In April, 1947, Dad and the other veterinarian students at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario, were hitting the books in preparation for their yearend torture exercise in futility final exams.
But, for some of them, the usual angst and stress were missing.
Due largely to a stick and a ball.
These young men had discovered golf.
Okay, I know that it isn’t always the most relaxing of games.
In fact, I’ve seen golf clubs bent into pretzels by a frustrated player.
But it was exactly what these young men needed.
On the morning of their first test, they reported to the examination hall.
Spent a couple of hours cudgelling their brains.
And left, drained. 
One of them glanced at the golf course, which immediately bordered the school.
“Hey!” he said.
Dad looked.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
If he was considering throwing himself on his bed and waving bye-bye to consciousness for a couple of hours, then yes. If he was thinking . . .
“Let’s go take in a game of golf!”
Then, no.
“Seriously. Playing nine holes would relax us for a couple of hours and we’ll be fresher to get back to our studies!”
Dad frowned. Maybe it was sign of how fried his brain was - it almost made sense. But he was too tired. He opened his mouth to tell them he was heading back to the dorm. What came out was, “Okay.”
Yep. Tired.
They actually had a great time.
And his friend had been right. They were more prepared to tackle the books afterward.
And the next day.
And the next.
For the entire nine days of final exams.
I wish I could tell you that there was an unforeseen benefit to all of the golfing. Maybe that one or more of them discovered an affinity to the game. Or even went on to become a star in golf heaven.
I’d be wrong.
Mostly they spent their time trying to get their score under 100.
And that was counting only the strokes that connected . . .
So many skills and talents are discovered at college.
Most of them fun.
Not all of them bankable.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Merry Cole

Not quite how I pictured it. But almost as good...

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he,
He called for his pipe, he called for his bowl
He called for his fiddlers three.

Every fiddler, he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he.
Oh there's none so rare, as can compare

With King Cole and his fiddlers three. 
Published: 1708 

I love this poem! It’s cheerful from start to finish.
And, let’s face it, a bit of cheerfulness right now is sorely needed.
I’m quite sure everyone reading will agree… 

But let’s discuss. Okay?
First of all, what do you think of Old King Cole? For me, the thought of a merry old man leading my country sounds hugely appealing. 

I’ve heard of kings sober, ummm…un-sober, stupid, intelligent, reckless, precise, war-like, peaceful, avaricious, giving, disgusting, polite, cruel, kind, greedy, generous…and a host of other qualities too numerous to mention. 

But ‘Merry’? Merry just sounds…merry! And teaming it up with the fact that good ol’ Cole was also musical. Merry AND musical? Okay, I’m voting for him. If one voted.

Okay, let's address the ‘musical’ part of the rhyme. Because Cole calls for his pipe. What sort of pipe do you think he played? Flute? Recorder? Fife? Something reed-y? 

And then Cole called for his bowl. Now I haven’t tried them, but I’ve heard that some drinks are offered in a ‘bowl’. Like rum punch. And mead. Sound yummy? 

I’m picturing a little impromptu recital with four individuals, at least one of whom was happy enough to be labelled ‘merry’, enjoying the company of friends who love making music. 

Friends in this increasingly friendless world. Who support you in your interests--even happily play along with you. Does it get any better than that? I’m thinking maybe not.

Thank you, friends.

Today’s post is a writing challenge. Each month one of the participating bloggers picks a number between 12 and 50. All bloggers taking part are then challenged to write using that exact number of words in their post either once or multiple times. 

This month’s word count number is: 30
It was chosen by: Karen! 

Links to the other Word Counters posts:

Baking In A Tornado  

Messymimi’s Meanderings   

Monday, September 19, 2022

Say Arrrrrrr!

Our ships were berthed right side by side,

There in the Bay of Leeman,

Ours filled with vacationers,

 And theirs with crusty seamen.


And through the day, as our group played,

And spent the hours relaxing,

They were busy scrubbing decks,

And labours e’en more taxing.


We sat on deck, enjoyed the sun,

And listened to our neighbours,

We often heard the captain

Shout out “Arrrrr”, through all their labours.


“Listen, guys!” I whispered to

The folks around me, dozing,

“He’s talking ‘pirate’ to his men!”

I found it quite imposing!


A couple hours sailed by,

And still our ships remained there,

And many times I heard the captain,

‘Arrrr-ing’ to his sailors.


Why did the captain speak this way?

A ‘pirate’ form of Latin?

Or just communication

While their hatches they did batten?


Getting slightly braver, I

Decided to move closer,

And get a better look

And try to figure out this poser.


Then I heard a sailor say,

“That we be!” to Skipper,

And Captain then responded with…

“Arrrrr! You little Nipper!”


And then it hit me tween the eyes,

T’was almost like a hammer,

‘Pirate speak’ is nothing more

Than just correcting grammar!

Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try to make the week begin
With gentle thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So KarenCharlotteMimi, me
Have crafted poems for you to see.
And now you’ve read what we have wrought…
Did we help?
Or did we not?

Field Trips are the very best 
Next week, join us--be our guest!

Thinking of joining us for Poetry Monday?
We'd love to welcome you!
Topics for the next few weeks (with a huge thank-you to Mimi, who comes up with so many of them!)...

Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) Today!

Field Trips (September 26)

Name Your Car (October 3)
Octopus (or something squishy) (October 10)
Most Memorable Italian Meal (October 17)
Bathtubs (October 24)

Halloween -or- your favourite Knock-Knock Joke (October 31) 

Oatmeal (November 7)

Sunday, September 18, 2022

BBBs and ME

It's that time again when I get to mix with the Best of Boomer Bloggers.
This week we're dealing with everything from LOSS to LEGALITIES!

First, we have Carol of Carol A. Cassara Writer:

What did the Queen's death mean to you, if anything? This week on her blog, Carol Cassara talks about feeling the weight of history in Thoughts On the Queen's Death.

We all knew it was coming, but when the words were finally announced, they were shocking. The Queen of England had died. Like most of the population, Laurie Stone had never known any other British monarch. Looking back at the Queen’s life, Laurie realizes Elizabeth II taught her three vital things. She can’t help wondering if King Charles III will learn from them as well…

Next is Rebecca of BabyBoomster:

Baby Boomers and others who blog do it for various reasons. Some write diaries of what is going on in their lives and the world while others use their blogs strictly for business. Rebecca Olkowski, with, likes to combine both. She writes about what she loves but also monetizes her blog to supplement her Social Security and other income. Often, she gets pitches from brands to promote their products. Sadly, brands often categorize Baby Boomers as “elderly” so there are some pitches Rebecca rejects. She talks about them in her post “Brand Pitches for Older Women That I Reject.” 

And Rita Robison of Rita R. Robison, consumer and personal finance journalist:

Read any papers carefully you’re asked sign when you take a friend or relative to live in a nursing home, advises Rita R. Robison, consumer and personal finance journalist. Some facilities put illegal clauses into contracts saying you’ll be on the hook for the bill. See “CFPB Tells Nursing Homes They Can’t Try to Collect From Relatives and Friends” for the stories about the troubles a daughter and a friend had.

Then Meryl Baer of Beach Boomer Bulletin:
There are times we must bid farewell to old friends and move on. These may be human companions, or pets, or nowadays, electronic devices. Meryl Baer of Beach Boomer Bulletin was forced to purchase a new cell phone when her old one proved unreliable, as she tells us in this week’s post, Farewell Old Friend, I’m Moving On

And finally me! Diane of Diane Stringam Tolley, Author:
A fun family evening of watching old movies brought back a precious memory this week for Diane. And one of the many, many times she heard truth from a child!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!
My FIRST murder mystery!

Blessed by a Curse

Blessed by a Curse
My very first Medieval Romance!

God's Tree

God's Tree
For the Children

Third in the series

Third in the series
Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at and .ca and and other fine bookstores.

Romance still wins!

Romance still wins!
First romance in a decade!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series


A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.


My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven


A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.


Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.


Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!

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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?